Fathers don’t experience morning sickness, food aversions, and (worst of all) labor, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have important duties. Fathers should do as much as they can to uphold their role as a new parent once the baby is born.
An attentive father can have great health benefits for newborns, and the importance of fatherhood should not be underestimated. So, how can dads help with newborns? Here are six essential duties for new fathers that will help share the responsibility of parenting and build a strong bond between you and your child.
1. CHANGING DIAPERS
It truly is amazing how much babies poop and pee. New parents will likely be changing diapers at least every couple of hours. That's about 12 diaper changes every single day!
The good news: the older your baby gets, diaper changes become less frequent. Still, you’re going to plow through lots and lots of diapers.
As part of a dad’s role with a newborn, you must share the burden of this stinky task with the other parent. Sorry!
2. BURPING THE BABY
Babies often get gas while feeding. That’s where burping comes in. “Burping” your baby involves rocking and gently patting their back helps your baby get air bubbles out.
To help your gassy baby digest, burp them after every bottle feeding and breastfeeding. For babies who fuss and spit up a lot during feeding, go ahead and give them burpings a little more often.
3. GIVING THE BABY SKIN-TO-SKIN CONTACT
After being in the womb for so long, being exposed to the outside world can be stressful for infants. Skin-to-skin contact, however, can help calm them.
It’s also believed that skin-to-skin contact helps stabilize the baby's heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and body temperature— all of which help prevent fits and crying.
It’s also a fantastic bonding opportunity. Skin-to-skin contact not only benefits the mother, but the father as well. This is a great way that dads can help with newborns, and we recommend that you start doing this as soon as your baby arrives.
4. CALMING THE CRYING BABY DOWN
Calming a crying child down is one of the most important dad roles with a newborn. To keep yourself sane, you need to learn how to calm your baby when they cry.
Sometimes, the baby will be well-fed and burped, have no fever or physical discomforts, and have a clean diaper — but they still can't stop crying. It's in your best interest to know some crying solutions for these situations.
Several easy remedies can help ease unknown stressors and help calm your newborn down. Some calming methods include:
- Sticking a pacifier in their mouth
- Swaddling them
- Placing them in a motorized swing
- Taking the baby for a drive
- Running the vacuum for white noise
5. HOLDING THE BABY CORRECTLY
Dads will need to carry around a newborn as much as moms, and learning how to carry a baby correctly is one way how dads can help with newborns. Prevent accidents by taking the time to learn how to hold a baby in your lap, on your shoulder, in a chair, on your hip, and cradled in your arms.
We recommend looking up the techniques or taking a class well before the baby is born — you won’t have much time while they’re a newborn.
The Huggs® Baby Carrier is a great way to keep your baby safe while toting them around. Easy and comfortable carrier products like these give you a lot of peace of mind and save you a lot of time and hassle.
- FEEDING THE BABY
Even if you’re planning on breastfeeding your baby for a long time, there will still eventually be times when you as a father will have to bottle feed your infant. You and your baby should be comfortable with each other at feeding time so the baby is not stressed and eats normally. Feeding is an essential way that dads can help with newborns.
Later on in your baby’s life, a high chair like the Beyond Junior® Y High Chair makes the feeding process a lot easier for parents. It’s worth investing in a decent high chair for feeding time that keeps your child safe, comfortable, and (relatively) mess-free.
MAKE AN EFFORT AND DO YOUR DUTY
As a father, it will make an enormous difference if you’re sharing the burden of parenthood with your partner, and both of you will be much less stressed. Learn these dad roles with a newborn and parenthood should go as smoothly as possible. Read more parenting tips at Abiie®.